Grading out the new Cougar uniforms

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As you're probably aware by now, the new WSU football uniforms are out. And they are sleek, if not spectacular or particularly innovative.

Judging by the reaction on the Cougfan forums, most fans agree with me that the real thing is a disappointment compared to the EA Sports' version. The NCAA Football 10 version proves that once again EA doesn't care about getting details right unless your school is named USC or Oklahoma (or any other big name program, for that matter). First, the 'Cougars' script helmet is the home helmet, even though we're switching back to the Coug head. And even though the Coug head helmet is the primary, odds are you won't find it in the game, even though they included the one-time-only crimson 'Cougars' helmet used in last year's Apple Cup. At least the road helmet is right.

Next, EA fouled up the sleeve stripe by making it curved and not straight like what you see above. Not a big deal, and the video game version actually looks better in my opinion. Still, it's not accurate. Because, again, EA sports could care less about getting things accurate when dealing with a small market school.

Still, I guess you can't expect 100% accuracy from a video game. Let's talk about the real thing:

Helmets:

The home helmet is gray with the Coug head logo and a gray facemask. Perfect. I know a lot of people like the 'Cougars' script, but I'm not one of them. Grade: A+

The away helmet, oddly enough, is the same thing it's always been. Crimson with a white Coug head and white facemask. Since our school colors aren't Crimson and white, I've always felt the facemask and Coug head should be gray. I also think the crimson helmet should be scrapped in favor of a gray helmet on the road. Nevertheless, it still looks decent. Grade: B

Jerseys:

The '09 home jersey really isn't all that different from the '08. All Nike really did was make a single gray outline around the numbers and replace the sleeve numbers with a white stripe. The stripe looks like it cuts off way too early, and there's that weird gray cuff that runs all the way around even though the stripe above it doesn't. Weird. It will still look good on the field, but is it really an improvement over Russell? I'm not so sure. Although I do like the Coug head on the collar. Grade: B+

The away jersey is a definite improvement over the Russell jersey, if for no other reason than getting rid of those stupid crimson-outlined crimson numbers. Again, there's that weird gray cuff thing, but it's not very noticeable. Plus "Washington State" is on the front, so that drunk opposing fans (I'm looking at you, Autzen) don't confuse us with Stanford. Grade: A-

Pants:

Take a close look at the gray pants. You'll see a dark gray stripe. On gray pants. Does it make sense? Nope. Still, I'm always a fan of WSU wearing gray pants, either at home or on the road. Grade: B

The crimson pants, with a solid gray stripe, are perfect. Miles above the Russell candycane pants. Grade: A+

The white pants also have a gray stripe, which is weird because crimson would stand out more. It still looks good, though. Grade: A-

Shoes:

Black are better than white, but it doesn't matter too much to me. Grade: B

Overall (home):

Again, I really don't know if this is an improvement over Russell. At the moment, I'm not so sure. In reality the differences are so small it might not look all that different from the stands. Nike does make better quality jerseys, so at least the recruits will like that. Still, I'm underwhelmed. They're good, but not great. Grade: B+

Overall (away):

By taking away a lot of the stuff that used to annoy me, Nike makes a better road jersey for us. The all-white combo looks good too, although Nike already rolled out the same concept for UW earlier this Spring. I like the white-crimson combo much better than the old version. It's still missing out on greatness, but it's closer than we've been in quite some time. I'm thinking that if I pick up a replica at Crimson and Gray, this will be the one. Grade: A-

Now I turn the question over to you, Coug Nation. What do you think?

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